For the Time Being —
Notes from the Developmental Minister
“Well, so that is that. Time to dismantle the tree, Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes – some have got broken – and carrying them up to the attic…”
These words, from W.H. Auden’s great poem, “For the Time Being,” capture for me the post-holiday feeling of being plunged into January. The “happy morning” of Christmas is over, and now we are back in ordinary time, a world of “darning and the eight-fifteen,” where “the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.” The invitation given us in this workaday world is to make the time being meaningful – in Auden’s words, “to redeem [it] from insignificance.”
With the New Year comes the reminder that our work together in Developmental Ministry is almost over. Your Ministerial Search Committee has been hard at work preparing for the search for a settled minister. Soon, it will learn the names of those UU ministers who’ve checked the on-line box saying, “Yes, I am interested in this congregation.”
13 ministers have shown interest in our church!
I’ve been monitoring the Unitarian Universalist Association Transitions website, and last I looked, a lucky 13 ministers have shown interest in our church. (I know only the number, not the identities of the ministers.). This is a healthy number; only a few congregations outside the Boston area, which typically draws many ministers, have generated that much interest. Thus, I’m cautiously hopeful about your prospects in this search cycle.
Don’t “wait and see.” Show your love and commitment to the church now.
I would caution you about something, however. Times of transition, such as the one we’re in together, are crucially important. What happens during “the time being” – and what you do in the next few months – will help determine the outcome of your ministerial search. In other words, this isn’t the time for you to take a “wait and see” approach to church life. It is, on the contrary, an especially important time to show your love and commitment to the church.
When you demonstrate your love and commitment – through your participation, your enthusiasm, and your strong stewardship – you will redeem this particular “time being” from insignificance.
Love and blessings,
The Reverend Suzanne Redfern-Campbell